Friday, March 23, 2018

Touch of the Master’s Hand

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

When I went into my home office this morning for my devotional time, I reached up and grabbed one of my old Bibles from the shelf, one that I hadn’t opened in many years. A poem fell from its pages. Many years ago, I could quote the poem by memory, but not today. 

It reminded me of a story I once heard about a master violinist. He walked onto a stage and lifted his violin. Before he began to play he told the audience, “This violin is a Stradivarius, one if the most valuable violins in the world.”

He then proceeded to play the part of the concert that led to intermission. At the end of music, the concert hall was filled with applause. Everyone was on their feet. And then, to their amazement, the maestro pounded the violin on the stage floor, breaking it into a hundred pieces! Then, he quietly walked off the stage. 

What an intermission that must have been! No one was late for the final set of music. Everyone was in their seats, almost breathless to see what might happen next. When the maestro walked on stage, he addressed the audience, “Let me put your minds to rest. I didn’t actually break a Stradivarius. I bought that violin today at a pawn shop for 40 dollars. But I did this to make a point: the violinist is much more important than the violin.” With that, he brought out the real Stradivarius and finished his concert.

What was true of that old violin is true of Christ followers. It’s not about us, it’s about being used by the Master. As the great Bill Gaither once sang, “All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife. But, He made something beautiful out of my life!”

Here’s the poem that fell from my Bible.

'Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,"

But, No,

From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."

"And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.

- Myra Brooks Welch

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatian 2.20

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